2 candles for altar - green/black & white
candle holders - 2
candles - 20
jug of water
4 big goblets
4 trays or baskets for food
On altar: two candles, chalice of water, 4 baskets or trays for food, 4 goblets of water, bell, matches, ritual, jug of water
"The circle is cast,
We are between the worlds,
Beyond the bounds of time,
Where night and day,
Birth and death,
Joy and sorrow,
Meet as one.
In a time that is not a time,
In a place that is not a place,
On a day that is not a day,
We stand at the threshold,
Between the worlds,
Before the veil of mysteries.
May the Ancient Ones help and protect us
On our magical journey."
What is community? The word comes from the old English communite, meaning citizenry, and from Latin commnits, meaning fellowship. Community is a unified body of individuals; an interacting population of various kinds of individuals in a common area.
Communal expressions that really matter on a day-to-day basis are probably made by people who have no thought of community. A surgeon who only wants to make money and live well and has a lousy bedside manner still contributes. The Korean grocer on the corner who works hard trying to survive may feel a foreigner, but the store is a contribution to the neighborhood.
There's no shame in depending on each other. There's heroism in ordinariness and connectedness and using relationship skills to get through difficult times. Look at the things in your living room or refrigerator and realize they were made by thousands of people on different continents. The lemons we buy at the grocery store connect us with a food chain. It's easier to see just a lemon, but only when we see the whole line can we feel connectedness and responsibility.
We celebrate our community with time-honored customs, both exuberant and solemn. We express our religious devotions and shared values by taking part in rituals, holidays, and seasonal festivals. Merrymaking accompanies births, handfastings, and other milestones of life. We rejoice in the change of the seasons, a bountiful harvest, or a miracle of nature. We celebrate life by remembering those who have died.
We are a community, a group of people, alike yet different. We are all interconnected. What one does affects the others, either positively or negatively. If the web is plucked, it sends ripples out in all directions, but as long as the strands remain intact, the web will not fall apart.
We are individuals, strong in our own right. Yet there is a special strength, a bond, when many people come together in peace.
The Iroquois Nation used arrows to symbolize this very concept.
Someone holds up one arrow, shows it, then breaks it.
One alone can break, if the strain is too great.
Then holds up a bundle of arrows, and cannot break it.
But many together are strong.
While unity of community can bring great strength, beware of isolationism. For the web we weave continues its way across the planet. As individuals and as groups we are all part of the greater community of man.
Listen well to a lesson of history, as a voice from the past warns us of the consequence of detachment.
In Germany, they came for the communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a communist. Then, they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then, they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then, they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then, they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak up.
Now we're all going to introduce ourselves - and the person to our left! Tell us your name, then tell us the name of the person to your left, and their tradition, and then tell us something unique about that person. So if you don't know the person to your left, get to know them really quickly!
East Quarter begins introductions. They go all the way around the circle, clockwise.
Have the four quarters pass food and then water to the person to their left. They feed it to them, then that person takes it and feeds it to the next person to their left.
Cut everyone loose as last paragraph is read.
Priestess (while web is being cut):
As the web was woven, each of you were bound to the others. Made to realize your connections. Pulling one strand sends ripples through the entire web. Cutting one strand can unravel the web. As one person moves, another is pulled. There is no one strand that does not affect the whole. You are responsible for your actions and how they affect those around you. At the unweaving of the web, you find again the necessary autonomy to grow - the uniqueness that makes your part of the eternal web of community relevant. Go into this night with knowledge of your distinct connectedness and prepare for the Summer to come. So mote it be.